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PRESCOTT HISTORIQUE SEES BUGATTI DEMOLISH LONGSTANDING HILL RECORD!

A bumper crowd enjoyed some of the finest sights and sounds in motorsport as well as witnessing the breaking of a long standing, prestigious hill record at the Bugatti Owners’ Club’s Prescott Historique meeting (May 27th).


Best time of the day was set by Ian Baxter in his Brabham BT16, the 1965 built Formula 2 car tackling the 1127-yard-long course in 45.84 seconds. He was pushed hard however by Peter Thurston who finished less than four tenths of a second back in his Mallock U2 Mark 4 sports racing car.


The oldest motorsport venue in the West Country, Prescott has been owned and run by the Bugatti Owners’ Club since it opened in 1938. Throughout that time, one of the most cherished hill records has been the best time set by a Bugatti. The record had stood for 19 years until Edmund Burgess took his Type 51 up the hill in an impressive 51.85 seconds to claim the honour.


The event was a round of the hugely popular Fassi Classic Speed Championship and honours among the series’ saloon cars went to the Triumph Vitesse of Alistair Clark while Timothy Brooke took his Chevrolet Corvette to a sports class win and top amongst the single seaters was Jeremy Rivers Fletcher in his diminutive Buckler Ballamy Special.


The Bugatti Owners Club Handicap category produced class wins for Tom Richardson in his Gypsy GN Special, Carl Talbot driving a Buckler 90 and the 5 litre V8 engined Cooper T90 single seater of James Baxter. Meanwhile the Bert Hadley Memorial Championship, for pre-war Austin7s and derivatives provided a class win for Colin Danks in his Austin Seven Ulster.

Victory among a strong field of Austin Healeys competing in the Healeysport series went to Peter Walton in his Austin Healey 3000 BT7 while Len Olds took the honours in the TR Revington TR Register category driving his Triumph TR4.


With the emphasis on the historic theme of the event, the Vintage Sports Car Club invitation class was claimed by Julian Grimwade driving a Frazer Nash Single Seater. Honours among the ERAs in action went to the D Type of Ben Fidler, fittingly so since this was the car that the late Ken Wharton used to claim the 1954 RAC Hillclimb Championship, sewing up the title at Prescott.


In addition to the competitive runs, a number of demonstration runs took place including the BRM V16 Formula One car regarded by many as the finest sounding race car of all time. Also present was the Raymond Mays Touring Car, one of just two surviving examples in the world and the only one in Europe.


With a wide range of historic cars also on static display and a busy trade area to be explored Prescott Historique provided a hugely entertaining day for car enthusiasts of all ages and has surely claimed a regular place in the Prescott calendar.


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